This was my best unforeseen highlight of the trip. I was not invested in visiting Fraser Island, despite the insistence and rave reviews of the Guide Book Authorities. I just didn’t really care. But luckily for me, my tour package included a 3 day/2 night guided tour, so off to Fraser Island I went, and I’m so glad I did.
A little background: Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world at 75 miles long and 15 miles wide. It also has tons of pristine freshwater lakes, and is well-known for its elusive dingo population.
Obviously, there was no Bikram yoga studio on the island. Thus, I created my own. I got along surprisingly well with my tour mates (this was the exception that proved the rule throughout my Eastern adventure– I was booked in with the young people (accurate for my age, not for my lifestyle since I had zero interest in drinking and partying). When they found out I was a yoga teacher, a few English girls asked me to teach them, and so I led them through the Standing Series at sunset on the beach. Hard life, eh? Naturally we weren’t rigorous about alignment or even balance, but it was fun and brought on stares and enthusiastic enquiries from our fellow tourists on the beach.
I also got to try Stand-Up Paddleboarding for the first time–from which I learned that although I may not be a natural when it comes surfing (need to work on my agility skills), I am a natural at SUP (thank you yoga balance!). Even with no instruction, minutes later I was happily paddling around even giving pointers and advice to my tour mates. Two of us tried to make it across Lake Birrabeen, but got 3/4 of the way in 45 minutes and turned around because we were running out of time.
On the whole, this was exactly what I envisioned for my travels: lots of playing in water, rambling about, hiking. I generally dislike guided tours (I never get to move enough or wander enough to make me happy because they’re always so focused on seeing everything and shuttling us everywhere; I usually find other tourists irritating and the endless small talk tiring; I get nauseous on buses)– but not this time! Our tour guide was really interesting and very fun (Example: driving the remaining 5 of us to the dock to take our ferry off the island, when we were too shy to pick the music, he started blasting “Let It Go”…. who would’ve thought he’d have had that on his iPod? Which was then followed by Spice Girls. Surprisingly hilarious). For no reason I can tell–I certainly didn’t pay more for it–I was assigned my own private room with my own private queen-size bed (after weeks of hostels, this felt like the height of luxury). We were given time to swim and climb and explore (helps that this tour was geared towards the Under-30 crowd, thus assuming general fitness). We got to see a whole family of dingoes, including three pups (very rare and very lucky). Plus, we perfected our Standing Bow on our last stop at Lake Wabby and the Hammerstone Sandblow.
Next up: Sailing the Whitsundays Islands and visiting Whitehaven Beach, world-renowned for its beauty.